Libraries are known for being quiet, reliable, and accessible places within New York City. However, they will also be the site of a fierce competition for the next couple of weeks.
The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), Queens Public Library (QPL), and New York Public Library are participating in a citywide book display contest. From now until November 12, 130 branches across the three systems will showcase unique and innovative display pieces that celebrate the arts and culture of their neighborhood.
The new competition is a part of the city’s larger Culture Pass initiative, which allows library cardholders to access a variety of cultural institutions throughout the five boroughs, including the Museum of the Moving Image, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, and Wyckoff House Museum.
“Since Culture Pass launched in 2018, we have distributed over 100,000 free passes to library cardholders,” said BPL chief librarian Nick Higgins. “The book display contest, with the theme of arts and culture, pays homage to the great museums, performance venues, historical sites and arts institutions who have partnered with the city libraries to provide free access and admission,”
New Yorkers are encouraged to vote for their favorite display online until November 12. At that point, finalists will be chosen and reviewed by a panel of local authors, artists, illustrators, and philanthropists.
Images of all the participating branches’ book displays are currently available at culturepass.nyc/book-display-contest.
“The contest is an excellent way to encourage customers to engage not only with all our libraries, but also with all our Culture Pass partners,” said QPL chief librarian Nick Buron of Queens Public Library. “We expect the curated displays will inspire more people to visit some of the most renowned museums, gardens and historic sites in the world.”
New York’s three library systems also made headlines recently when they announced plans to no longer charge late fees for overdue books and other circulating material. The decision is meant to make libraries more accessible and welcoming to New Yorkers who may have been previously dissuaded by financial penalties.